Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NK’s Kim chides officials during ‘field guidance’ visits



NK’s Kim chides officials during ‘field guidance’ visits

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kim Jong-un inspects a machine factory in North Hamgyong province. KCNA VIA KNS/afp

NK’s Kim chides officials during ‘field guidance’ visits

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un berated officials during inspections of a factory, power station and holiday camp, state media reported Tuesday, with analysts saying the reports show nuclear-armed Pyongyang’s desire to focus on economic development.

“Field guidance” visits by the leader are the mainstay of the North’s state media output, with Kim regularly shown giving “on-the-spot guidance” to attentive officials, their notebooks in hand.

After his latest tour to North Hamgyong province, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper doubled its pagination to 12 and devoted nine of them to the trip.

At the Orangchon power station, which is only 70 percent complete following delays, Kim said he was “so appalled as to be left speechless”, according to the North’s official news agency KCNA.

“He reprimanded the leading officials of the Cabinet for leaving the project to the province only and not paying attention to it,” it said, and he ordered it completed by October next year.

Kim also exploded over the dirty hot spring bathtubs at the Onpho holiday camp – which boasts of having been visited by his father and grandfather Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung – calling them “worse than fish tanks”.

Criticism of officials is not unknown on field guidance trips, but the terms and scale of Tuesday’s denunciations were unusual.

The party committee of North Hamgyong, in the northeast, was singled out for particular vitriol, with KCNA saying it did not “sincerely accept” official policy on building a new bag factory in each province.

Instead it offered “shabby rooms” in an existing facility for bag production, “and thus caused great anxiety to Kim Jong-un”.

“The Supreme Leader pointed out that the Provincial Party Committee is working in a perfunctory manner,” it reported, adding witheringly: “The committee has no revolutionary spirit.”

Professor Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies said Kim was sending a domestic and external signal that the North was focusing on the economy after his Singapore summit with President Donald Trump.

At the time Kim agreed to work towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but the term is a diplomatic euphemism open to interpretation.

“To the people, he is projecting an image as a leader who is caring for their livelihood,” Yang told AFP, “and to the outside world, he is sending a signal that he is serious in his promise to denuclearise.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration